Hi Mamas! So in honor of the back-to-school sick season, (and being that I am currently suffering from not just 1, but 2 colds), I thought that I would put a list of my tips to help you beat a cold while breastfeeding. Because it is HARD! So have a little look-see down below and feel better!
This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase anything that I have recommended, then I earn a small commission. I NEVER recommend something I don’t LOVE. Thank you for supporting The Milking Mama!
- Rest. Ha! I see your smirk and hear your sarcastic laugh through the screen, but TRY to rest as much as you can. Take naps when the baby is sleeping. Let the chores go for a few days. It’s important to give your body some rehabilitation time. Put your feet up and R-E-S-T! One of the best things I ever invested in is a memory foam wedge pillow. I used this when I was pregnant and loved it! it helped relieve my acid reflux because my head was elevated while sleeping. I still use it today when I get sick so that my sinuses can drain. I also have a memory foam mattress, so they go hand in hand.
2. Drink…Lots -n- lots of H2O. Besides the fact that this works wonders for your milk supply, you need to replace all the fluids that you lose from things like fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Water, whether hot or cold can loosen up all that yucky congestion so that you can blow your nose and relieve that awful sinus pain. Some good options are plain ol’ water, hot water with lemon or honey, or tea with honey. People always tell you to drink ginger ale when you’re sick, but it is chock full of sugar and the little bit of ginger in it doesn’t help much, so stay clear.
3. Supplements. There are quite a few things that can be taken in a supplement form that can help a breastfeeding mama. Vitamin C, Echinacea, garlic(though eating this raw helps the most, but is so gross.) Supplements can assist your body naturally in replacing all the good things they are losing when you are throwing up, sweating them out and not eating(who wants to eat when they can’t smell or breathe?!) Best of all, most supplements don’t affect your milk supply at all.
4. Gargle. This is pretty basic and I’m sure everyone’s Grandma used to make them pour a glass of warm salt water and gargle over the bathroom sink. BUT! It works. Somehow(maybe the salt) pulls that yucky stuff off your tender throat and if only for a few minutes, makes you feel better. You can also make an apple-cider vinegar water gargle mix as well.
5. Relieve the pressure. One of the worst parts of being sick is the sinus pain. You’re nose is stuffy and you feel like that commercial with the person’s head floating away from their body. Luckily, there are a few ways to help with relieving some of the pressure. Taking a hot shower is one way. Close the bathroom door and put a towel along the bottom where there’s a crack to stop the steam from escaping and take deep breaths. Let the water run directly on top of your nose. The steam will help break up some of that stuffiness. You can also boil a pot of water and drape a towel over your head(be careful not to get too close! You don’t want to get burnt!) Breathe deeply for a few minutes. Another good way to relieve that sinus pressure is to use a neti pot. With a neti pot you use a salt and water solution in your nose to flush out your nasal passages. It’s a little weird doing it at first, but it works wonders! Bonus: you can do this anytime you have sinus issues, not just when your sick!
6. humidifier. Turn on that thing! Using a humidifier helps you to breathe easier. Who likes trying to sleep with their mouth wide open because their nose is so stuffy they can’t breathe? The humidifier helps moisturize your nasal passage and throat and thus makes breathing easier
7. Nasal sprays. These bad boys can help you out a lot, but only use the ones that contain sodium chloride, phenylephrine, or oxymetazoline. DO NOT use ones with propyhlexedrine, lemetamfetamine or desoxyephedrine in them. As long as you use the correct ones then you should have no issues with your milk supply or feeding your baby.
8. Cough and Throat drops. Try cough and throat drops to help control that hacking and stinging. But be careful because the ones that contain menthol can cause reduced milk supply if too many are taken.
9. Take some medicine! There are some medicines that are safe to take while nursing. typically decongestant medicines with pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine are pretty safe to take, but have been shown to reduce milk supply, so be careful if you are low on your milk supply and take these. There are also a few antihistamines that are safe for nursing mamas, but could cause drowsiness in your baby. Some of these are drugs like Benadryl and Chlor-trimeton products. Some that are non-sedating are Claritin, Claritin-D, Zyrtec, Allegra and Allegra-D.
10. Pump-n-dump. Hey mama! If worse comes to worse and nothing you’ve tried is working, take whatever medicine helps you to feel better and pump and dump the milk until it’s out of your system.( This is if you have enough supply built up to still feed baby.) Normally most medicines pertaining to cough/cold/flu will be out of your system between 4-6 hours anyway, but to be safe, call your local pharmacist and ask.
At the end of the day, to be a good mama you have to be able to function and sometimes that might mean pumping and dumping until you feel better. There is no shame in that.
Trust me mama, I understand and have been there. Anyways, I hope that these tips will help you through this horrible season of yuckiness and if you are sick now, Feel better and know that I am making you a big batch of homemade chicken noodle soup( AKA Campbells lol)
P.S. If you have any remedies to help beat a cold while breastfeeding, I’d love to know! Leave me a comment down below 🙂